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Pothos vs. Scindapsus (The Key Similarities and Differences)

Pothos vs. Scindapsus (The Key Similarities and Differences)
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There are so many excellent houseplants that you can choose to buy. If you’re looking for new houseplants for your home you might be thinking about both pothos plants and scindapsus plants.

Both of these plants are rather pretty and will make good additions to your home. You might be wondering which one is the best to buy, though.

Pothos plants and scindapsus plants are similar in certain ways. They also have plenty of differences that you should know about.

Below, you’ll learn a lot about both plants. This should help you to decide which plant is the best option for your home if you only want to get one.

Pothos and Scindapsus Belong to the Same Plant Family

One reason why pothos and scindapsus are linked together has to do with the plant family that they come from. You see, pothos and scindapsus belong to the same plant family.

They’re both members of the “Araceae” plant family. That doesn’t mean that they’re exactly the same, though.

The scientific name for the pothos plant is “Epipremnum aureum” while the scientific name for the scindapsus is “Scindapsus pictus.” The two plants have many similarities as well as differences.

Below, you’ll learn more about the plants so that you can tell them apart. At the end, you can decide which houseplant is a more appealing option for your home.

Both Plants Have Similar Care Requirements

You’ll find that both pothos and scindapsus plants have similar care requirements. For the most part, they have the same needs when it comes to watering, sunlight, and soil.

Sunlight Requirements

They’re both plants that do best when they’re given bright sunlight. However, they’re sensitive and will scorch if placed in direct sunlight.

So you need to put the plants somewhere safe where they can receive indirect sunlight. Ideally, you’ll want to provide the plants with filtered sunlight by using sheer curtains or some other method.

If you expose them to too much sun, it’ll lead to scorching. The leaves will turn brown and the plant won’t look healthy.

Be mindful of this potential problem so you can protect the plants. Otherwise, they won’t look as nice as they should in your home.

Temperature Requirements

Both plants are also tropical and that means that they require warm temperatures. They’ll do very well in temperatures that range from 65 degrees Fahrenheit to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

This type of plant doesn’t do well when placed outdoors in chilly areas. You need to live in a warm environment to even be able to consider keeping these plants outside.

Thankfully, these plants are very practical as houseplants for most people. You do need to be mindful of temperature fluctuations, though.

Keep the plants far away from air conditioning units, drafty windows, and heating vents. Also, do your best to ensure that the plants get enough humidity.

The ideal humidity for these plants is between 40% and 50%. You might need to use a small plant humidifier if you live in a dry area.

Water Requirements

Getting the water situation right is imperative for both scindapsus plants and pothos plants. These plants do poorly when they’re given too much water, but they also can’t survive when they aren’t watered enough.

You need to monitor the soil condition to determine when it’s time to water the plant. Given normal conditions, you’ll often need to water the plants once every two weeks.

However, you should check the soil weekly to see the condition. The top two inches of soil should be dry before you water the plant.

You don’t want to water either plant if the soil is still moist. Even so, you’re not supposed to wait to water the plant until the soil is bone dry.

It requires you to pay attention to the soil to see when it’s time to take action. You can kill scindapsus plants and pothos plants by watering them too much or by not watering them enough.

Soil Requirements

It’s imperative to use well-draining soil for both of these plants. Pothos plants and scindapsus plants do best when you use some type of well-draining potting mix.

You want the soil to contain a good amount of nutrients as well. This helps to provide the plants with the energy that they need to grow.

Both plants should do well in soil that has neutral or slightly acidic conditions. Pothos plants can tolerate higher soil pH compared to scindapsus plants, though.

Both Plants Are Toxic

Another thing to know about these plants is that they’re both toxic. They can cause skin irritation if you handle them too much with your bare hands.

Wash your hands after handling these plants for brief periods. Some people like to wear gloves when pruning these plants just to be safe.

Ingesting these plants will cause burning sensations and severe stomach pain. You should avoid getting these plants near your mouth.

If pets eat portions of these plants they can get very sick. Be sure to keep them out of the reach of pets so they can stay safe.

The Differences Between the Two Plants

There are differences between these plants that you should know about. Most of the differences have to do with appearance.

Scindapsus plants have stems that are rather thick. The stems grow to be a lot stronger than the stems of the pothos plants.

Pothos stems are much thinner and they also have thin leaves. A scindapsus stem will have a dark green appearance and will produce gray-green leaves.

The pothos stem is going to be either yellow and green or neon green. You can easily tell the plants apart based on the thickness of the stems and the overall color.

You’ll also find that scindapsus plants produce incredibly small flowers, but they’re so tiny that they’re difficult to observe. Pothos plants only rarely grow flowers and they don’t do so as houseplants.

Leaf texture differs significantly between these two plants. Scindapsus plants have leaves that are much thicker and wider.

Pothos plants are known for having thin leaves that are shaped like hearts. Both plants look nice overall.

The growth of these plants will differ a lot as well. Pothos plants are known to have higher growth rates than scindapsus plants.

A pothos plant has the potential to grow as much as eighteen inches in one month during the summer. A mature pothos will grow to be between twenty and forty feet in size.

Mature scindapsus plants only grow to be between four and ten feet in size. So pothos plants are quite a lot larger.

Differences When Fertilizing the Plants

There are some differences to note about fertilizing these plants. It’s very easy to take care of pothos plants using standard houseplant fertilizers.

You can buy normal houseplant fertilizer and have a good experience. Pothos plants do very well when you give them a standard 20-20-20 fertilizer each month during the spring and summer.

Scindapsus plants are a little bit different because you’ll be forced to use a water-soluble fertilizer during the summer. Most experts recommend using a 20-10-10 water soluble fertilizer that has been diluted to half-strength.

You’re meant to feed the scindapsus from the spring through the fall. Do so monthly to get the best results.

Scindapsus Plants Are Sold Under the Pothos Name

To further confuse people, scindapsus plants are often sold under the pothos name. The most common name used when selling scindapsus plants is “satin pothos.”

You might also see the plant being sold as the “silver pothos.” This plant isn’t the same as a pothos plant, but it’s close enough that it has received the pothos name.

Now you know the differences between these two types of plants. Others might not and will be confused because they will see scindapsus plants being referred to as pothos plants.

They’re similar enough that the name does make sense from a certain perspective. Even so, you must recognize the differences so you can focus on caring for each plant the right way.

Which Plant Is Best?

This isn’t a situation where one plant is truly better than the other. Both scindapsus plants and pothos plants are appealing.

You might even want to buy both of them for your home. They look nice and both plants are fairly easy to take care of.

These are hardy plants that you can easily keep in good shape. Simply be sure to meet the basic care requirements of the plants and you’ll have a good experience.

Pothos plants grow to be larger than scindapsus plants, but many might find the scindapsus plants to be more intriguing due to their thick leaves and stem colors. Simply pick the plant that appeals to you the most if you only wish to own one of them.

Final Thoughts

These two plants are similar and come from the same plant family. They might be related, but that doesn’t mean that they’re the same.

Pothos plants have thinner stems and leaves that are heart-shaped. Scindapsus plants have thicker stems and leaves.

There are differences in the coloration of the plants, too. The care requirements for these two plants are virtually identical, though.

Both are easy to care for and will be appealing to many people. You can’t go wrong with either option and should find these plants to be great additions to your home.